01 June 2011

A whole week! or Jetzt geht es wirklich los!

Well, there went a whole week. It's been pretty busy; I've been getting to know my way around and I've not really had a good block of time to spend writing other than at the bank, where I didn't have access to my pictures. At the bank there hasn't been a lot to help with but I have been looking into the internship project about Web 2.0. I seem to be coming to the conclusion that it wouldn't be that helpful for most of the companies involved in the internship program to use Web 2.0, mostly because they already have a defined set of customers (such as an architecture firm or a factory) or because of security reasons (such as a bank). Only one of the participating companies has a Facebook page, and everything on the page is also on their website, except that the website presents the information better and has more useful information. Other than that, I spend my time learning what I can about what goes on. It's nice sometimes to just drink my coffee and talk to my coworkers. Maybe next year I will be able to do an internship somewhat more related to my field of study...? But for now I'm just happy to be here.

Grace, another intern from KU, is staying in the same host family as me. They had to double up students in a few host families; I think it's actually pretty nice this way because there is someone else to try to find the way back home with. We cooked dinner for our host family tonight and then went on a walk to the horse pastures where they showed us a foal that was born this morning! During dinner the subject came up of how many English words are used in German, even when some of them are used in a different way than they are actually used in English. There is a song by the Wise Guys, an a capella band from Köln, that handles this theme in an interesting way. If you listen you may realize that you understand more and more of the song as it goes on!

Another song that's particularly relevant right now is Jetzt ist Sommer, which makes fun of the fact that summer weather in Germany isn't always so nice.

We had kohlrabi for lunch today. The German name was adopted into English so the vegetable is still called kohlrabi in English but roughly means cabbage turnip, because it sort of resembles a combination of a cabbage and a turnip. My host father Joachim tried to draw the plant to see if Grace and I knew what it was but it just seemed strange to us and we had no idea. I thought it was pretty delicious, at least in the sauce that it was served with. 

I don't want to make this post too long so I'll just link you to my photo album on Facebook instead of putting up all the photos here. It's been a lot of fun. All of the students from Lawrence including those who are doing the Summer Language Institute were welcomed officially at the town hall and we all signed the guest book for the city, after which we took a boat ride around the Eutiner See and I was able to see the open air stage for the first time. Later we attended a Rotary meeting where the organist of the church gave a presentation and played a few pieces and we ate dinner with the Rotarians after that. I had an extra banner from the Leawood Rotary Club which I exchanged for an Eutin banner, so now I can present the Eutin banner in Leawood when I get back home.

On the weekend, some of the other interns and I went to an open air concert in Lübeck and the last band that played was really good so now I have something new to listen to; unfortunately they sing in English.... but for all I know, my English needs a little help right now anyways. I keep having to erase words that I spell wrong like lang instead of long and garten instead of garden! On Sunday we went canoeing in Plön and luckily it waited to rain until we were under a roof grilling our wursts and our fleischs. (*inside joke*) After driving back to Eutin we Americans taught our German friends how to play ultimate frisbee in the Schlosspark. Hopefully more games will follow in the future because it was a lot of fun.

Grace and I went with our host sister Luisa who is just finishing high school to the school musical on Monday. It was Chicago with the text in German and the songs in English, and I thought it was really well-done. Other than that we spent some time preparing for this Saturday when several of us will be helping out at the open house at the opera barn which is meant to provide some excitement and a bit of advertising in advance for the opera festival. More on that will follow after the open house.

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